Conflict Questioned: Mayor “Personally Affronted!”

Filed in Recent News by September 30, 2019

AT tonight’s general Council meeting, Mayor Wayne Bedggood berated Councillor Sue Abbott for raising a question about the management of conflict of interest with the airport development.

Cr Abbott explained she had been asked by many members of the community if there had been any potential conflict of interest at any of the Council’s sub-committee on the airport and was putting the question forward to clarify any concerns.

Mayor Bedggood said he thought it was inappropriate for her to ask the question and chastised Cr Abbott saying he was “disappointed and personally affronted” that there was a perception in the public that any impropriety had been taken, demanding from Cr Abbott she explain what should be done.

The Mayor outlined the meeting procedure for managing conflict of interest and said at the sub-committees all members were asked if there was any potential conflict and it was on those individuals to respond appropriately at the time of the meeting.

Cr Abbott said she understood the meeting process and was merely asking the question, which had been asked of her, if all of those meetings had ensured there was no conflict and she thought it was a fair question to ask.

Cr Maurice Collison, who chairs the airport committee said there were six airport users on the committee and it was always “certainly handled in the right manner.”

This story has been updated to include the section of audio recording from the Council meeting, referring to management of conflict of interest on the airport sub-committee. Upper Hunter Shire Council hold the copyright to the audio, which has been reproduced here and the audio of the full meeting is available on their website: Audio File of September 2019 General Council Meeting.

Listen to the audio file from the Upper Hunter Shire Council meeting:

Related stories: Scone Airport Development.

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